ISLAMABAD: Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi on Saturday called on the international community to help Kashmiris living in the Occupied Valley get their basic rights and push India to allow a United Nations fact-finding commission to travel to the region to investigate the abuses.
“The international community must act in support of the fundamental freedoms and basic human rights of Kashmiris and urge India to allow the UN Fact Finding Mission to Indian Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IOJ&K) to ascertain the reports of grave human rights violations there,” Mr Qureshi said in a statement issued in connection with the Right to Self-Determination Day for the people of Jammu and Kashmir being observed on Sunday.
The United Nations Commission for India and Pakistan on Jan 5, 1949 adopted a resolution stating that the question of the accession of the State of Jammu and Kashmir to India or Pakistan will be decided through a free and impartial plebiscite.
That promise remains unfulfilled to date.
FM says India must be made to allow a UN mission in occupied valley
“Regrettably, this right has not yet been realised because of unabated repression and state terrorism by India in IOJ&K. For over seven decades, human dignity of Kashmiris is being violated on a daily basis in IOJ&K,” the foreign minister said.
India on August 5 last year revoked Article 370 of its constitution ending the special status for Occupied Valley. The region has since then been under a lockdown by the Occupation forces and a communication blockade remains in force.
Mr Qureshi said India’s illegal and unilateral actions of August 5 were aimed at altering the disputed status of Occupied Kashmir and bringing about demographic changes to undermine the right to self-determination of Kashmiris.
“India’s unrestrained oppression has reached unprecedented levels with the inhuman lockdown now in place for over 150 days,” he said.
He said the UN Security Council bears the responsibility to ensure fulfillment of the promise of granting the right to self-determination to the Kashmiris.
President Dr Arif Alvi, meanwhile, reaffirmed Pakistan’s continued moral, political and diplomatic support to the just cause of the people of Jammu and Kashmir till the attainment of promised right to self-determination. He described the current situation in Occupied Kashmir as the worst in history.
Published in Dawn, January 5th, 2020